If you’ve been told that you need a sinus lift, you may have a lot of questions about what this is and why you need it. At the Center for Family & Implant Dentistry, we can perform this surgery that has a lot of important benefits for patients. We can also answer all of your questions about it. This surgery may seem daunting, but learning more about it can help you to see why it’s a common surgery that there’s no need to worry about. One of the many benefits of this surgery is that many patients find that they can breathe easier after the procedure.
What Are Sinuses?
Behind your cheek and above your upper teeth are the maxillary sinuses. This is an empty space that is full of air. The upper teeth often have roots that extend into these sinuses. If you lose these upper teeth, the maxillary sinus is only separated from the mouth by a thin bone. If you are going to get dental implants to replace those lost teeth, this bone will have to hold those new teeth in place. If you have a sinus wall that is quite thin, it is not strong enough to hold onto dental implants. The bone has to be thicker and stronger in order to hold them.
Sinus augmentation, also called a sinus lift, is a way to give you more bone in that area. After the sinus lift, the bone in that area will be larger and stronger. Sometimes, the loss of the teeth will cause the bone to deteriorate further. When a sinus lift is done, it will raise the floor of the sinus. When this is done, new bone can form in that space, making the bone denser and far thicker and stronger.
Some patients worry that having new bone in the sinus will adversely affect their breathing. However, the opposite is often true. The maxillary sinuses are quite large, and getting a sinus lift won’t disrupt your breathing at all. Many patients have improved breathing after the surgery. This is because the surgery makes the sinus floor become level. This allows for this sinus to drain more easily than before the surgery, and this can improve breathing.
How a Sinus Lift Is Performed
There are different ways to perform a sinus lift. In the type that is the most common, the surgeon works on the molar or premolar area to raise the sinus. When it is lifted, the space under it is filled in with a bone graft. Sometimes this bone comes from elsewhere in your own body, and sometimes it is from outside your body. Once this bone graft material has been implanted, the surgeon will finish the surgery, and you can start to heal. Sometimes, the dental implant is done on the same day once the sinus augmentation has been done.
For patients who get the sinus lift and the dental implants at the same time, they generally already have a good amount of bone in the area so that the implants can be stabilized. Often, the area is left to heal for a few months before the dental implant is placed. During this healing time, the bone graft will fuse with the patient’s own jawbone. After that, the implants can be implanted into this new, thicker bone that is strong enough to hold them.
Getting a sinus lift can make it possible for patients to get implants when they wouldn’t have been able to without this procedure. It’s common for patients not to have enough bone for implants, but a sinus lift is a great way to make this possible. It’s perfect for people who have been wearing dentures and don’t like them. This gives patients another option.
After Your Surgery
The easier draining of your sinuses is what can help your breathing after the surgery. For some patients, having a stuffy nose for a little while after the surgery can happen, but this doesn’t last long. After that, you can have easier breathing. The affected sinus, the maxillary sinus, has a role in moisturizing the air as well as heating it up when you breathe. Getting this procedure won’t have an impact on its ability to do this. And when you get a sinus lift, it won’t have any impact on the sound of your voice. Some patients are concerned about this possibility, but there is nothing to worry about.
Once you have had your sinus lift surgery, it’s important to follow the instructions given to you by the surgeon. You will be given post-surgical directions that will help you to stay as comfortable as possible and to heal well. Make sure you take any medications given and take your time to get back to your normal activities.
Is a Sinus Lift Right for You?
If you’re interested in getting dental implants on your upper jaw bone, you may be a good candidate for getting a sinus lift to make these implants possible. Call us at the Center for Family & Implant Dentistry to schedule your consultation about having this surgery in order to get upper dental implants.